Plastic Free Oadby
In November 2019, Oadby became one of over 700 communities in the UK to join the campaign run by Surfers Against Sewage, a charity in Cornwall, to create a Plastic Free Community network.
The Plastic Free Oadby campaign is being led by the Rotary Clubs of Oadby and Oadby Launde. Other stakeholders include Oadby and Wigston Borough Council, who have passed a resolution supporting the journey to a Plastic Free Community, Pride of the Borough, Asda Oadby, Trinity Methodist Church, St Peter's and St Paul's Churches, Helping Hands and Leicestershire County Council Adult Learning.
The aim of the campaign is to make local residents, businesses and organisations aware of the harm our dependence on single-use plastic is causing to ourselves, wildlife and the ecosystem and to encourage them to reduce their plastic waste.
The launch of the campaign coincided with the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic and both a planned Plastic Free Awareness event to be held at Asda and a litter pick, had to be cancelled. Unfortunately, over the past year the progress that was being made on reducing our consumption of single-use plastic has faltered and the pandemic has been a set back to the war on plastic waste. Single-use surgical masks have replaced plastic bags as one of the most common form of littering on our streets. The North London Waste Authority estimates that 102million single-use masks are disposed of every week. Many of these are being thrown or dropped on the ground, making their way into streams, rivers, beaches and seas.
Plastic Free Oadby, despite the pandemic, has continued to meet on Zoom and there has been enthusiasm for the launch of new initiatives. The Oadby Village Hall Trust and the two Oadby Rotary Clubs have funded the printing of a leaflet, highlighting the impact single-use plastic is having on the environment and the simple changes which can be made to reduce consumption. The leaflet will be distributed to every household in Oadby in early March. This will be followed by a socially distanced litter pick in April, restrictions permitting, to highlight plastic littering. It is also the campaign's intention to encourage affordable and accessible zero waste shopping in the Oadby area.
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